* Gary McCarthy
* Dec 15, 2010 - 9:41 AM
Casey will shuffle off to Buffalo
Forward Casey Cizikas and goaltender J.P. Anderson of the Mississauga St.
Michael's Majors now know what they'll be doing over the Christmas holidays.
Cizikas, the captain of the Ontario Hockey League's Majors, will be in Buffalo
as a member of Team Canada, competing for a gold medal at the World Junior
Hockey Championships that begin on Boxing Day.
Anderson, meanwhile, will at home celebrating the holidays with family members
and watching the world tournament on television.
Cizikas has been selected as one of 13 forwards on Team Canada's final 22-man
roster for the prestigious international tournament.
Anderson, who by his own admission didn't have a great evaluation camp this
week, was one of nine players notified early this morning that he was being
released by Team Canada, which will be coached this year by Dave Cameron, the
head coach and general manager of the Majors.
"I could have been a little better but this has been a good experience,"
Anderson said last night after allowing a pair of goals in Team Canada's 6-2
exhibition victory over a team of university all-stars at the MasterCard Centre
"Sometimes things go the way you want and sometimes they don't," said Anderson,
who stopped nine of 11 shots after replacing Mark Visentin of the Niagara
IceDogs for the second half of last night's game.
"It's such a short period of time (three days) to show what you've got. You
have to come in here and earn your place. If you have an off-day, it shows up
in a hurry."
When asked to rate his performance during the evaluation camp, Anderson said he
thought a 'B' rating would be generous.
"I have pretty high expectations of myself," said Anderson, who tops all
netminders in the OHL with a 2.29 goals-against average.
He was beaten out for a spot on Team Canada by Visentin, who is second to
Anderson in goals-against in the OHL, and Olivier Roy of the Acadie-Bathurst
Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Calvin Pickard of the Western Hockey League's Seattle Thunderbirds was also
While Anderson was getting one last opportunity to make Team Canada with his
appearance in last night's game, Cizikas was among 10 players who watched from
the sidelines. He joined the likes of Ryan Ellis, Jared Cowen, Calvin de Haan,
Zack Kassian, Brayden Schenn, Louis Leblanc and Ryan Johansen as interested
"I did my best," said Cizikas.
"I learned a lot from this," he continued, adding that the excitement of playing
for Team Canada would be enormous.
Cizikas has shown a lot of upside to his game this year with the Majors.
He has speed, he's not afraid to go into the tough areas of the ice to fight
for the puck, he's a play-maker and he's a top penalty killer.
Three of his 16 goals this season were short-handed markers. He also scored a
short-handed goal for the OHL All-Stars against Russia in the Subway Super
Series game in Sudbury last month, which the OHL won 2-1 in a shootout.
Team Canada's remaining 22 players will practice at the MasterCard Centre this
morning to prepare for a series of exhibition games against international
Team Canada plays Switzerland in Oshawa next Monday. The Canadian team will
then take on Sweden the following night at the Air Canada Centre before closing
out the exhibition schedule on Thursday against Finland in Kitchener.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home
telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on
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